Ortelius, Abraham

, a celebrated geographer, was descended from a family originally seated at Augsburg: but his grandfather William Ortelius settled, in 1460, at Antwerp, and dying there in 1511, left Leonard, the father of Abraham, who was born in that city April 1527. In the course of a learned education, he particularly distinguished himself in the languages and mathematics; and afterwards he became so famous for his knowledge in geography, that he was called the Ptolemy of his time. He travelled a great deal in England, Ireland, France, Italy, and Germany, suffering no curiosity to escape his inquiries. In England he became acquainted with Camden (see Camden). When he had finished his travels, he fixed at Antwerp, where he first published his “Theatrum orbis terrse.” This work procured him the honour of being | appointed geographer to Philip II. of Spain; and he afterwards published the following pieces: “Thesaurus Geographicus;” “Deorum dearumque capita ex veteribus numismatibus;” “Aurei seculi imago, sive Gtrr manor urn veterum mores, vita, ritus, et religio;” “Itinerarium per nonnuJlas Belgiue partes.” He was possessed of many rarities, in antique statues, medals, and shells. The greatest men of that age were friends to him to his death, which happened in June 1598. Justus Lipsius wrote his epitaph; and several funeral eloges were made of him, which were published, under the title of “Lachrymae,” by Francis Svveerts, who annexed an account of his life. All his works are in Latin. 1


Foppen Bibl. Belg. Bullart’s Academi di Sciences. —Ath. Ox. vol. I. —Saxii Onomast.